FirstNet’s Swenson hopes collaboration can transform LA-RICS LTE ‘lemons’ into ‘lemonade’
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FirstNet Swenson hopes collaboration can transform LA-RICS LTE ‘lemons’ into ‘lemonade’
Also encouraging is the fact that local Los Angeles-area officials have told federal representatives that they philosophically want the public-safety LTE system to be deployed, Swenson said.
“Nobody there is saying, ‘We don’t want this,’ because that makes no sense,” Swenson said. “I think everybody is on the same page. It’s just a matter of figuring it out now.
“So, resources are deployed, everybody’s ready, conversations have already begun. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed for the next week and hope that we get a viable plan that everybody can go forward with.”
When asked whether an alternative LA-RICS public-safety LTE system might include a greater concentration of cell sites to support greater data capacity, Swenson indicated that such an approach is one of several possibilities that may be considered. But no new plan will be approved unless it is done in manner that helps FirstNet gain key knowledge that can be used to deploy its nationwide first-responder network, she said.
“We’ll want to make sure that whatever design the team comes up with is not just a patchwork quilt and that we’re getting a broadband experience, because that’s what we want to learn,” Swenson said. “There’s going to be criteria that people are going to be looking for.
“FirstNet and NTIA are going to be working with LA-RICS to review this. We’re not going to let something go through just to do a project. That’s a waste of taxpayer money, so we’re not going to do that.”
If those goals are met, Swenson said LA-RICS public-safety LTE initiative can be successful—even if the final LTE system is a marked change to the original proposal.
“I think what people need to be open to is that, if we come out with a different plan, it’s still something that’s useful,” Swenson said. “Just because it doesn’t look like the previous one, there are still very significant key learnings that we can gather. And that’s really what the purpose of these BTOP project are—it’s an investment to learn things, so that we’re learning something in one city that we don’t now have to learn in 110 or 300 cities, which would be problematic.
“So, I think that everyone has to be open to the fact that, even if it looks different, that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. It’s just to take a different shape, and we’ll get benefit out of it.”